Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister) : The Luxembourg of tomorrow
Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg since 2013, talks to us about the current and upcoming developments in Luxembourg. Between European policies, inflation and the ecological transition, here is his vision of the Luxembourg of tomorrow.
What are you priorities for the upcoming election?
My focus right now lies entirely on the work of this Government and on my mandate as Prime Minister. Europe, and with it, Luxembourg, finds itself tangled up in the consequences of the cruel and unjustified Russian attack on Ukraine, particularly regarding the stark rise of energy costs and spiking inflation rates. This week, we will meet the social partners again to discuss further measures for our citizens and our companies. For the past year, the Luxembourgish government has made every possible effort, including through two tripartite meetings leading to the so-called Solidaritéitspäck, (‘solidarity packages’) to ensure that people and businesses are supported. We have made the right choices at the right time. On the level of the Eurozone - and through these measures - Luxembourg has the lowest inflation rate right now. Together with union and employer representatives, the government is again looking for pragmatic solutions that have an immediate impact on our economy and the quality of life of our population. My job is to ensure that Luxembourg is doing well now and in both the near and farther future. At the current moment, I am fully dedicated to that mission. My party will set its program for the elections in the upcoming months.
Which aspects of the economy need to be improved to keep Luxembourg competitive?
In order to continue making Luxembourg’s economy future-proof, we have to further drive investments in sustainable sectors. Luxembourg is the number one center for green investments. Luxembourg is driving sustainable projects, worldwide. The past ten years have seen big leaps when it comes to attracting businesses that have a positive impact for Luxembourg both as a finance and technology hub, often combining both areas. Then there is the need to accelerate the green transition. Not just since the beginning of the current energy crisis have we known that this is essential. Not only for our carbon footprint, but also for the predictability of our economy and its driving sectors.
Which opportunity do you identify for the future?
As I mentioned before, I see plenty of opportunity in expanding innovative sectors in Luxembourg in order for our economy to remain resilient and competitive. I want to reiterate my conviction that technology exists to support society, not the other way around. A key aspect of achieving a digital society is to keep developing our data driven economy. The enormous diversity of data sources and types, and the rich opportunities for applying insights onto data in a variety of domains are only beginning to emerge. Nowadays we see how new ground-breaking AI models change our understanding of what is possible, a new generation of cognitive tools. This will be a strong driver for example for our financial services industry where Luxembourg acts as a global node of financial data. I also believe that the challenges we face – such as the climate crisis – bear opportunities. I take the worries of younger generations very seriously and want to ensure that their future is bright and safe. That is why I am convinced that we must accelerate the green transition by investing in renewable energies. What’s positive for the economy is in this case – as it often is –also positive for the climate. It’s a win-win situation. This is why in the last State of the Nation address I presented an initiative aiming to install as many solar panels on Luxembourgish roofs – public and private – as possible. In the near future, the inclusion of solar panels in construction should become the norm, not the exception.